MT. STERLING, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Montgomery County High School teacher has been named the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year by the Kentucky Department of Education.
Willie Carver, an English and French teacher at the high school was surprised with the award and a check for $10,000 at his home Thursday evening.
"I'm very very grateful and proud to be a teacher today and the spirit of every teacher I've worked with...and every teacher who's been behind me is definitely with me right now," he said.
Carver loved school throughout his childhood, he said and dreamed of becoming a teacher. Now he believes it's his job to help his students follow their dreams.
"They have so many big ideas and I think my job is just to say, 'You're capable of that. You can do this,'" he said.
He's helped students turn their ideas into a reality with the formation of the Happy Club to bring joy to the school and Open Light club, the county's first inclusion, and LGBT-affirming club, according to the Kentucky Department of Education.
"In a world that's sometimes dark, there's always light in schools," Carver said.
The Kentucky Department of Education also recognized the Elementary and Middle School teachers of the year. Ashley Ritchie, a teacher at Beechwood Elementary School in Fort Mitchell, and Hallie Booth, a teacher at Ballyshannon Middle School in Boone County were honored during a ceremony Thursday afternoon.